Leverkusen have just completed the signing of young striker Andre Schuerrle, who will join the club the day the summer transfer window opens at the end of the season. At Leverkusen already, are three well established Bundesliga strikers. Eren Derdiyok, who joined the club in the summer of 2009, Stefan Kiessling, who has been at the club since 2006, and Patrick Helmes. While Derdiyok and Kiessling are reliable, hard-working squad players, they will no doubt be competing with Schuerrle for a first-team place. But Helmes, though, should not be. An awful injury ruled Helmes out of most of the 2009/2010 season, but he is now returning to full form.
Helmes was not picked for the 2010 World Cup because of a lack of playing time due to injury with Leverkusen, but will definitely have his sights set on a European Championship spot in Joachim Loew’s squad in 2012. Helmes will be competing primarily with Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez for the striker spot in the German national team, and things look favourable for him as long as he can stay fit. Klose is getting older, and eventually his incredible knack for finding the back of the net will fade away. Mario Gomez is getting very little first-team action at Bayern Munich, what with Miroslav Klose, Ivica Olic and Thomas Mueller all competing for those striker spots at the Bavarian club. If Gomez does not get a chance to impress at club level, and Patrick Helmes does, then Helmes may get the nod in Joachim Loew’s side ahead of Gomez.
Patrick Helmes banged in 21 goals in 34 Bundesliga appearances for Leverkusen during his first season at the club in the 2008/2009 season, and will be looking to rekindle that form this season at the club. Helmes’ ability cannot be questioned, and if he can find his form, he will certainly be looking at pushing Klose and Gomez for a national team place.
On Wednesday night, Leverkusen hosted Rosenborg in the Europa League group stage, and Patrick Helmes banged in an impressive hat-trick. Astoundingly, that’s already his second hat-trick of the season. His first hat-trick of the season was in Leverkusen’s very first match in the DFB Pokal back in August. If Helmes can keep his form up and keep himself fit, then he could well be Germany’s first choice striker in the future.
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